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Subject: Accusations lodged against resident
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Author Messages
ChuckS4
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:11


07/09/2018 5:18 PM  
This is a new one for our HOA. I am currently on the BoD and we have had complaints lodged against a resident. The accusations include inappropriate statements made towards a lifeguard, who is a minor. He was also using his cameras to video the pool. Not just his child, but the entirety of the pool and telling people they "better watch out, I'm taping you". The accusations and complaints are coming from more than a dozen residents. Some of the residents know each other and some dont, but they have all said almost exactly the same thing.

He has been kicked out of the pool and common areas forever. The Board came to that decision tonight after a very heated meeting with the resident (people trying to take advantage of children really gets me angry), he was told about the BoD's decision. He, of course, threatened to sue, threatened to call our insurance for whatever reason, told me "we can settle this in my back yard", etc.

We have already let our local police know what is going on, and have gotten statements from residents who have heard the statements he has made. Our management company knows what is going on and I am calling his landlord as soon as I can find his number again.

As a Board, we are in charge of making the best choices for our community and our feeling, after speaking with several residents, is that this resident shouldn't be allowed the use of common areas (minus sidewalks or roads as to not impede his travel). People in our community are genuinely afraid to have their children near this person.

I didnt go into detail about a lot of the accusations about this resident, but they run the gamut from inappropriate statements to kicking people off of common areas, to threatening residents.

Has anyone ever encountered anything like this before? Would you have done the same in our situation?
AugustinD


Posts:1139


07/09/2018 5:39 PM  
Your HOA's attorney needs to be involved in the decision-making here. I have seen situations like this. I recommend your HOA continue to get as much documentation, by way of witness statements and similar, as possible. Your board did right by informing the landlord of your concerns. But I think your board, while well-intentioned, might be a bit off track when you write as its justification that it "is in charge of making the best choices for our community." Based on experience, I think your board needs to identify the exact sections of the covenants that this resident has allegedly violated. Then document this with the landlord. This will hopefully assist the landlord in terminating his/her tenant's lease sooner rather than later.

Do your governing documents have anything in them about terminating use of amenities if covenants are violated? If not, the board is on shaky ground.

What will your Board do if this resident disobeys the instruction to stay off the common areas? To get a restraining order, one has to have standing. Those that have standing are all the individuals this resident has harassed. These individuals may have standing. Has the manager or any director been among the individuals this resident has harassed? If so, this puts the HOA in a better position to seek a restraining order.

Also be aware that, if the guy is legally (mentally) disabled, this is going to make it harder to get rid of him.

Are any of the resident's so-called "inappropriate statements" of the type that are racist, sexist, or hateful per se towards children or a particular religion? If so, the HOA has a case against the resident for creating an environment that is hostile towards various protected classes, based on fair housing law, notably the federal Fair Housing Act. The latter can be a powerful legal tool to purge the guy, too.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4151


07/09/2018 6:37 PM  
Agree with Augustine ... Your HOA needs to consult an attorney! I would be willing to bet the attorney will state cannot bann from pool / Common Area “forever” (even though I know you would like that option ... and potentially so would I if in your circumstance). The issue is they pay assessments to maintain those areas and have certain rights of use and access as their Legal Property Rights. Potentially the attorney will maybe direct you to change your R&R’s or CCR’s so that individuals can be banned for X amount of time for each time they violate, but would contend cannot be forever. Forever ... will get you a lawsuit which most likely the HOA would loose.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3107


07/09/2018 7:15 PM  
First of all, if the clown is video taping children in the pool, he could be considered a "pedophile, and should immediately be referred to the police. NO residence has the authority to video tape in the matter in which they are doing it. I would be suing the HOA if I found out this was going on and the HOA was sitting on their asses.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7713


07/09/2018 7:22 PM  
What are they going to sue for? They are NOT even a HOA member! They are renters. The HOA needs to take this up with the owner. Who because of "Tenant's rights" may be a bit limited on a timely eviction process. The HOA is to hold the owner to the rules/behavior of their tenant. Although the HOA has nothing to do with the lease agreement between the 2. Just means that if their tenant violates the rules it extends to the owner to correct.

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5842


07/09/2018 8:11 PM  
Must go through landlord/HOA Member. Let them know their tenant is a menace to the community. Ask them to control him or evict him. If he's breaking any rules, call the owners to hearing and fine him.

And, as Augustin, says, your docs must give the Board the right to ban him from the pool area. if so, you must put a limit on the ban, say 90 days. Otherwise, don't even think about it.

Janet, the word is "lose." )
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3107


07/09/2018 10:01 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 07/09/2018 7:22 PM
What are they going to sue for? They are NOT even a HOA member! They are renters. The HOA needs to take this up with the owner. Who because of "Tenant's rights" may be a bit limited on a timely eviction process. The HOA is to hold the owner to the rules/behavior of their tenant. Although the HOA has nothing to do with the lease agreement between the 2. Just means that if their tenant violates the rules it extends to the owner to correct.



IF, you were responding to me, you better re-read what I wrote. Oh, HOA's, in some cases, do have a say in lease agreements.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:40


07/10/2018 2:57 AM  
Why did you have the hearing with the renter and not the owner? I don’t think you can enforce the ban without having had the owner notified of the hearing. The HOA relationship is with the owner.

Why did you choose to announce the results with them present?

We have encountered similar situations. Both residents were renters. In the first situation the owner refused to act. We took the first situation to our attorney and he assisted us. We gathered written information on his behavior from renters and owners. Our attorney encouraged both because the behavior was a liability issue. We held a hearing which our attorney attended. The owner did not attend. Our attorney notified the owner in writing of the outcome and fines. He was banned from the pool.

Then we had to enforce the ban. He was at the pool one day and I had to call the police, show them the hearing results, and in the presence of officers, notify him that he was banned and if he came to the pool again he could be arrested for trespassing. Renter became extremely agitated with me. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done as a Board member. Luckily, I lived in another part of the community, so we didn’t cross paths. Unit went into foreclosure; no fines were paid, and he moved shortly thereafter.

Second situation was last summer. Owner attended the hearing and renter banned from the pool. Owner was responsive to results and renter turned in their pool key. Haven’t had to call the police on him. Attendance at the pool has increased this summer with him not there.

The education we received from the first event with the attorney cost us fees and they were well worth it. We were able to use that information and deal with the second situation ourselves.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
ChuckS4
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:11


07/10/2018 5:13 AM  
We did inform the homeowner of the meeting, but he chose not to attend.

This residents comments to a minor, who is one of our lifeguards, is our main concern. He has threatened me physically and has threatened other residents through the threat of a lawsuit. If this was an isolated set of circumstances, we probably would have acted differently. This resident has been a problem for years. We are not a strict HOA and give our residents a lot of rope when it comes to our more minor rules (grass heights, trash cans to be taken inside, etc.)

I have contacted out attorney and am just waiting for his response. He was told verbally last night he will not be allowed to use common grounds, but nothing in writing yet. That letter goes out to the resident and the landlord within the next day or so. When I speak to the landlord, I will explain everything to him and urge him to not renew his lease with the resident.

Our HOA has no say on who can and can not rent/. I am not sure on the exact verbiage with regards to the banning of a resident. The guard has filed a complaint with the police and I have spoken to them on multiple occasions.

The problem with a limited banning is that our lifeguard tend to return year after year. With this guard being 15, I dont want to put her in a bad situation by having him back at the scene of the crime, so to speak. I would feel like we are siding with the resident over the accuser and all the complainants.

It is a sticky situation for the HOA. This is one of the reasons this is my final year being on our Board. It just gets to be too much.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:524


07/10/2018 6:10 AM  
You need to start fining the homeowner and keep increasing the fines until one of two things happen, they get their tenant under control or evict them.
Hopefully the police can get the minor lifeguard an order of protection or an RO . Yes you should contact your Assn lawyer so they are up to speed.
see if your assn docs have a health and welfare to the community clause, use that for leverage to uphold the ban. I know here in Nevada you can ban someone from amenities.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5842


07/10/2018 10:40 AM  
The thing is, LetA, fine the owner for what??

Banning owners from common area amenities for rules violations or delinquencies is spelled out clearly in our CC&Rs, Chuck, and repeated in our Rules & Regs handbook.

A few years ago after an Owner was verbally abusive to our then Asst. Mgr., a woman of color, we crafted a rule that corroborated incidents of abusive language towards staff, directors, or committee members would result in an immediate call to hearing and potentially a $100 fine. The fine, as with all of ours, can double if the behavior is repeated
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:524


07/11/2018 7:47 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/10/2018 10:40 AM
The thing is, LetA, fine the owner for what??

Banning owners from common area amenities for rules violations or delinquencies is spelled out clearly in our CC&Rs, Chuck, and repeated in our Rules & Regs handbook.

A few years ago after an Owner was verbally abusive to our then Asst. Mgr., a woman of color, we crafted a rule that corroborated incidents of abusive language towards staff, directors, or committee members would result in an immediate call to hearing and potentially a $100 fine. The fine, as with all of ours, can double if the behavior is repeated






I'm pretty sure what the person is doing can be considered a nuisance and the board can fine the owner for repeated nuisance violations.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2463


07/11/2018 10:32 AM  
Posted By LetA on 07/11/2018 7:47 AM
I'm pretty sure what the person is doing can be considered a nuisance and the board can fine the owner for repeated nuisance violations.

Is it, though? When we amended our CC&Rs last year we got the 15-minute tour of what constitutes a nuisance from our attorney. The behavior has to be described in some detail and that behavior has to BE, in fact, a nuisance.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5842


07/11/2018 10:40 AM  
LetA MAY have a good point. And we know for sure that incessant barking is a nuisance in our and I assume most condos.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2463


07/11/2018 11:40 AM  
The ultimate nightmare neighbor. FL DBPR 2016-02-6498.

I thought this was a joke at first. The final Order might be the type of thing you need, although I don't know how you'd go about getting something like this in PA.

From DBPR 2016-02-6498


The relief request by the Association is GRANTED in part as follows:

1. Respondent shall as long as she resides at the condominium, in her own unit or any other unit, shall:

a. Immediately cease and desist harassing, interfering with, confronting, offending, touching and verbally assaulting the residents and owners of the condominium, their guests/tenants/workers/family members, Association vendors and taking any other actions which are intended to interfere with other unit owners’ right to peacefully enjoy their property, or annoy, irritate or harass others in the condominium;

b. Immediately cease photo graphing, filming or recording any person’s comings and goings on the common elements, sending nuisance emails and text messages, and stop making nuisance phone calls to owners, Board members, management and/or vendors;

c. Only park her car in the driveway assigned to her, and nowhere else on the condominium property;

d. Only put her garbage in an approved container and shall refrain from placing it by the curb prior to the date and time approved in the rules and regulations;

e. Immediately cease posting vulgar and defamatory social media posts directed against Board members, management, owners, residents, including family members of same, and/or vendors;

f. Immediately cease any vulgar gestures or actions while on the common elements, and refrain from using obscenities when speaking with anyone at the Condominium;

g. Immediately cease spitting on driveways and common areas; and

h. Refrain from encouraging or participating in another person’s violation of the governing documents, including but not limited to, Mr. John Sensebe.



After reading that you might conclude that the creep you're dealing with isn't so bad after all.
AugustinD


Posts:1139


07/11/2018 11:48 AM  
Geno, nice post. So a HOA in at least some states can get a restraining order against a harassing resident for harassing other residents.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2463


07/11/2018 12:04 PM  
Paragraph 2 of that Relief Order ordered the woman to pay the association $1,000 a month to subsidize the rent for a law enforcement officer to live in the condo just to keep an eye on her.

Similar restraining language can likely be obtained against someone causing a lot of disturbance.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:492


07/12/2018 5:03 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 07/11/2018 12:04 PM
Paragraph 2 of that Relief Order ordered the woman to pay the association $1,000 a month to subsidize the rent for a law enforcement officer to live in the condo just to keep an eye on her.

Similar restraining language can likely be obtained against someone causing a lot of disturbance.




Also $12K for security cameras and $10K for counseling for her victims. Wow. Apparently there was no way to force her to move, as I am sure that is what they would have preferred.

I've heard of people making crazy noises in retaliation, but never about such a concerted effort to literally torment her downstairs neighbors intentionally. That whole story is wild.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2463


07/12/2018 12:57 PM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 07/12/2018 5:03 AM

Also $12K for security cameras and $10K for counseling for her victims. Wow. Apparently there was no way to force her to move, as I am sure that is what they would have preferred.

I've heard of people making crazy noises in retaliation, but never about such a concerted effort to literally torment her downstairs neighbors intentionally. That whole story is wild.

You can't make this stuff up. I didn't think there was any way that story could be real. It's like theater of the absurd. The big eye-opener, as you noticed, is despite all that despicable and well-documentd behavior, they couldn't evict her or force her to move. The mind boggles.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:40


07/12/2018 1:04 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 07/12/2018 12:57 PM
Posted By JenniferG11 on 07/12/2018 5:03 AM


You can't make this stuff up. I didn't think there was any way that story could be real. It's like theater of the absurd. The big eye-opener, as you noticed, is despite all that despicable and well-documentd behavior, they couldn't evict her or force her to move. The mind boggles.




The most difficult part is explaining to other owners why she is still living there. They just don't comprehend the limitations of the Board.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5842


07/12/2018 1:15 PM  
A lot of her behavior could cause her to be called to hearings and fined. But this can't happen unless the HOA has that authority. fines work, especially when they can be doubled for repeat violations of the same rule.

The language of the "ruling," is odd though and seems unprofessionally written.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:492


07/13/2018 1:48 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 07/12/2018 12:57 PM
Posted By JenniferG11 on 07/12/2018 5:03 AM

Also $12K for security cameras and $10K for counseling for her victims. Wow. Apparently there was no way to force her to move, as I am sure that is what they would have preferred.

I've heard of people making crazy noises in retaliation, but never about such a concerted effort to literally torment her downstairs neighbors intentionally. That whole story is wild.

You can't make this stuff up. I didn't think there was any way that story could be real. It's like theater of the absurd. The big eye-opener, as you noticed, is despite all that despicable and well-documentd behavior, they couldn't evict her or force her to move. The mind boggles.




Well, it isn't odd that they can't make her move. Being an owner. I think the only way that could ever happen is legitimately fining a person for violations that they can't pay, causing eventual foreclosure or threat thereof?

If we followed that story and she couldn't/refused to pay what was ordered that might happen.
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